Eleven months after his original ACL injury, Sixers rookie center Nerlens Noel has been cleared by doctors to resume basketball activities, and he may be ready to get out on the court shortly after the all-star break, according to a report from ESPN.
Noel visited Dr. James Andrews in Florida last week and was given the go-ahead.
"He is doing excellent and the team is taking good care of him," Andrews told ESPN.com, while providing few other details, except that Noel may be ready for in-game action in 4-6 weeks, barring a setback.
"He tested really well and his knee looks great," another source said.
While he may have been cleared by doctors, the team still needs to clear him as well, and thus far they have not been in a rush to bring him back.
Most, including head coach Brett Brown, had accepted that Noel would likely have to sit the entire season.
"I doubt, everybody doubts that he's going to play this year," Brown said before a preseason game at the Cleveland Cavaliers. "We don't want to waste this year. I think from a skill perspective, it's an opportunity for us to break down his shot, really work on his free throws and start a little bit from ground zero."
The coaching staff has worked with Noel on his shot and other areas of his game throughout the season, and now it will be up to them to determine when, and if, some actual in-game NBA experience this season would be beneficial.
Regardless of if the Sixers' decide to play him this season or not, the rookie's recovery appears promising.